Do you love the feeling of wind against your helmet? Do you often find yourself in lycra? Do you put yourself through physical and mental pain, balancing on a tiny and uncomfortable seat, just because you can? Then you, like thousands of Australian citizens, may find yourself a cyclist.
Cycling isn’t as simple as rummaging up a bike and hitting the road; it’s about proper planning, leaving well equipped and prepared for anything because safety is priority one.
If you follow the steps and guidance provided, not only will your riding be safe and fun, but you may even find yourself a true everyday cyclist.
What to take?
Now it goes without saying that a bicycle it fundamental to the cycling process but there are other things just as essential to bring that any ride would be incomplete without.
Yes. In the wonderful country that is Australia wearing a helmet is compulsory under legislation. That withstanding, in the unpredictable world we live in, a helmet can be the only thing standing in the way of a serious personal injury, so it makes the list, legally enforced or not.
Let’s face it, skin-tight lycra isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea and some people would rather skydive naked into shark infested waters then be caught dead wearing spandex. By wearing activewear you are not only dressed to smash all your racing records, but you are comfortable and looking your best.
That’s right readers, a bell. This humble little tool often attached to the handlebars is essential to riding.
A bell or similar instrument is ideal for warning people of your oncoming presence or of attracting the attention of fellow riders. You can’t leave home without one they are that essential. Did I mention they are legally required? Might want to add that one to the shopping list.
What to do when on the roads
There are all sorts of riders out there. Some love wide paths with scenic views. Others ride for necessity, working their way along with cars to work or similar functions.
The most important thing when it comes to choosing where to ride is understanding your level of skill. If you are new to riding maybe you want to start with bike paths and quieter roads, up to you!
Pick your terrain wisely to maximise your cycling because a mismatch in terrain is not only less conducive so a good ride, it is also dangerous for you and other people.
Obey the road rules
Everyone knows when you are on the road you are following the rules of the road, it’s straightforward right? Whether known or not there are many rules broken daily by members of the public.
Failing to give way to pedestrians on all forms of footpath is a common issue, with gun-ho riders just screaming past hoping everyone else will move for them, it’s just plain unsafe.
Cyclists sometimes also choose to ignore simple signs like stop signs and red lights when going about their commutes. Whether out of ignorance or indifference the record is being set straight here now, don’t do it, bad idea.
Finally, adhering to the regulations on approved helmets and the correct lighting for hazardous weather conditions. When you’re out on the roads it is paramount to your personally safety that you comply with these regulations. Injury is inevitable and will often be exasperated if the proper safety gear isn’t worn.
What to do when it all goes wrong
Now you’ve gotten up for your ride; helmet, bike, lycra and
bell are all there ready to go. You’re out on the roads following every road
rule to the letter but sometimes stuff happens, and things go wrong. It may not
be your fault or even another driver’s, it could be negligence on their part or
yours, it doesn’t matter how, what matters is your safety.
Stay calm! A pretty simple first instruction now but in the moment, it is often the last thing on your mind. For the best possible outcome however it is essential you do this.
The next step is to assess the situation. Make sure you are injury free or if you have been injured, you know where and have a rough idea to the extent.
Upon doing this you can then, depending on your state, check on the other party. If it was a pedestrian run down or another cyclist, they could be in a worse state and in need of medical attention which is step three.
Seek professional medical attention asap if injured to that extent. Don’t soldier through the pain, if you are injured, it will only get better with the right attention.
Finally, exchange details, take photos and contact your own relevant parties, from your insurer to your lawyer and especially family members! Make sure all the people who need to know what happened know what happened.
Cycling done right
This is cycling done right, leaving well equipped, obeying the rules along the way and being prepared for anything. This is the recipe to fun and safe cycling so what are you waiting for? You know the drill, strap on your helmet and get out there!